I've made literally dozens and dozens of different kinds of cupcakes and a peanut butter cupcake sounded like a no brainer when someone first suggested it to me. Smooth, creamy peanut butter baked into a moist, yellow cupcake - what's so hard about that? (Famous last words.)
So after a least 2 failed attempts at a peanut butter cupcake - I finally found one that was up to my standard of cupcake perfection. It was not without some serious chemistry work in the kitchen though. What I found out (the hard way) is that there is so much oil in the peanut butter that it really messes up the fat ratios in the rest of the cake.
Once I figured out how much I needed to reduce the amount of butter in the cake recipe and how much peanut butter to add, I was well on my way to a delicious peanut butter cupcake.
My first batch was so oily that the cupcake papers were even greasy. My second batch was like rock solid. (Ok, so maybe not ROCK solid but at least as hard as an apple.) My third batch was the winner - creamy, moist, peanutty cupcakes with a swirl of chocolate buttercream and a sprinkling of chopped peanuts. Ahhhh, peanut butter cupcake perfection.
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup whole milk
Add peanut butter, egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 1 minute.
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, then mix until just combined.
Divide batter among lined muffin cups (about two-thirds full) and bake in middle of oven until pale golden and a tester inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn cupcakes out onto a rack and cool completely.
Add a swirl of chocolate buttercream and a sprinkling of chopped peanuts.
Peanut Butter Lovers Rejoice!
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